This past week I took a short trip to London, where I visited the The Making of Harry Potter- Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Naturally I snapchat(ed) the WHOLE day….and was surprised when a I received a confused message from a friend. She sent me a chat saying how AMAZING the tour looked and how she thought it was a museum of props (basically). In reality, however, it’s so much more! So today I wanted to share with you a little bit about The Making of Harry Potter- Warner Bros. Studios London (but don’t worry I won’t give too much away).
Let me start by first saying that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. For my generation I think everyone is…it’s something we completely grew up with. The first book was released when I was in second grade (1998), and the last movie was released at the end of my first year of college (2011). So I remember watching that last movie realizing my childhood was over…I know that’s a bit dramatic, but the Harry Potter series was really something that completely defined my childhood. That being said, most people my age LOVE Harry Potter and are thrilled to visit any attraction related to this mega series.
And so we do. With The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and Los Angeles people are able to step into the magical world created by the series. BUT I should let you know the London Studio Tour is NOT that! It’s exactly what it says in the title…a behind the scenes look into The Making of Harry Potter. And I should say it really is AMAZING. You actually can learn a lot about Harry Potter and about the film/movie industry more generally.
Yes, the majority of the tour is viewing props, costumes, sets, etc. BUT you also get a behind the scenes look at how all of it was created. It’s amazing to learn all the time/intricacies/nuances that went into creating every single set/prop for the movies! The studio tour also unmasks all the (visual & special) effects seen in the films. While this debunks the actual magic of the movies (that we know isn’t real) it shows another kind of magic that goes into creating a fantasy film. The tour boasts some AMAZING moments, like when you’re standing in the actual set realizing you ARE in Harry Potter. In this way some places from the films are brought to life – and you do step into this magical place.
With that being said I DON’T think this tour is right for young children. It strips away the magic that is Harry Potter – flying, spells, enchanted objects etc. It’s more of an adult attraction to view how the wonder is created. I know, I know, most kids realize it’s not real, but I think it would take away from the fantasy to know how things were done (just my opinion).
The Wizarding Worlds are more appropriate for children. They bring the wonder to life. BUT this tour is AWESOME for older Harry Potter fans. And let me say that the secrets I learned during this tour I will keep with me and revisit with every Harry Potter movie I watch!
Ultimately whether you go to The Making of Harry Potter in London is up to you. SOOOO let me help you out with some tips from my visit!
- If you are planning on taking a tour – book WAY in advance. Tickets are always sold out! (Book through Warner Bros.)
- Book a guided tour – it costs more but is worth it! Our guide was EXCEPTIONAL. While every guide may not be as knowledgeable, the tour doesn’t have much signage so having someone there to explain things is great. An audio tour may suffice as well (I didn’t try it).
- I booked my tour through a third party (because tickets were sold out through Warner Brother’s Studios). It was so WORTH it! It’s cheaper than the guided tour through the WB website, but it also doesn’t include meals (included in the WB tour). BUT does include transport! (Book through City Wonders)
- Our tour guide was exceptional – he could tell you SO much behind the scenes info. Actors favorite lines, funny stories from films, actors’ relationships, point out extras from the films that now work as guides, etc. Even about other movies that were made at the studios! Basically everything WB & HP he knew…and so friendly/fun!
- The City Wonders tour also allows all day entry. So you can go back through the tour as many times and for as long as you wish!